Bill Riley



Bill Riley Senior passed the torch to his son, Bill Junior, in 1997. Prior to that, Bill was involved in the construction industry for over 37 years, both in Iowa and in Arizona. Riley worked in manufacturing, sales, and service with an emphasis on interior millwork, wood windows and interior/exterior doors.

He has been involved with the construction of hundreds of homes since 1985, including owning Bill Riley Homes Inc. founded in 1995. The company was shuttered in 2008 to allow Bill to concentrate on building and expanding the Talent Search.

In 2009 he created the Bill Riley Talent Corporation. A non profit 501(c)3 corporation who’s mission is to ensure the opportunities for young Iowans to excel through the performing arts. He travels to dozens of local shows each year to encourage and support young Iowans.

Riley also produces and emcees the Bill Riley Talent show each day during the Iowa State Fair.

Once his daily duties are done at the talent show Riley is assistant to the director of the Iowa State Queen Pageant, and Emcee of the Iowa Sate Fair Queen coronation.

Since 1997 Riley has been emcee of the “Corn Dog Kick Off,” the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s annual fundraising event for the Iowa State Fair.

In 2012 he was honored to be selected as host of Iowa Public Television’s Iowa State Fair Highlight coverage. He is the third host of the program, carrying on the tradition started by his father Bill, Sr., and the late Mark Pearson.

Heather Torpy

Vice President, Marketing & Communications


Heather Torpy joined the Bill Riley Talent Search in 2011. She is the driving force behind the program’s social media outreach, and the development of the web site. She plays a critical role in the program’s effort to not only stay connected with the current performers, but to establish a data base from thousands of past participants .

At the Iowa State Fair you can find her behind the camera interviewing performers, coaches and parents or backstage helping to keep the show running smoothly.

During the year she works with local show coordinators to provide them with the support they need to host their show.

Before joining the talent search Heather spent 12 years at KCCI Television in Des Moines in the Creative Services Department as a Senior Producer creating on-air marketing campaigns.